MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced Sunday that the number of positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Minnesota has risen to 15,668, up 699 from Saturday. Twenty-two more people also died, bringing the death total to 722.

Since the outbreak began in Minnesota early last month, more than 150,000 people have been tested for the respiratory illness, which first appeared in Wuhan, China, last year. Testing has increased over the last week, so that is also another factor in the rise in positive cases.

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Currently, 487 people are in Minnesota hospitals battling COVID-19, with 221 in intensive care beds.

More than half of people who have contracted COVID-19 in Minnesota — 10,897 patients — have recovered and no longer need to be in isolation, health officials say.

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All of this comes as Minnesota transitions from Gov. Tim Walz’s “Stay Home MN” order to a “Stay Safe MN” directive.

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Walz is allowing the state’s stay-at-home order to expire and retail stores will be able to reopen on Monday, with safety plans in place.

Bars, restaurants, salons, and gyms can reopen on June 1 — but only with certain restrictions in place that Walz says will be announced by next Wednesday.

READ MORE ON GOV. WALZ’S ANNOUNCEMENT HERE

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But, for those with underlying health conditions, or among elderly populations with compromised immune systems, the virus has proven deadly.

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